PUAN Constitution

CONSTITUTION OF THE PAKISTAN – U.S. ALUMNI NETWORK (PUAN)
September 2008
__________________________________

First Amendments: November 2010
Second Amendments: January 2015
Third Amendments: January 2016
Fourth Amendment: September 2017

 

CONSTITUTION

1.
i. Name: Pakistan–U.S. Alumni Network
ii. Office: The Offices of the Network shall be spread throughout Pakistan where its regional chapters are established. The executive office shall be located in Islamabad, the federal capital of Pakistan.

2. Territorial Limits:
i. The Network will sponsor, operate, promote and launch its programs throughout Pakistan including AJK, FATA and Gilgit-Baltistan.
ii. The Network may set up its chapters in other provinces/districts of the country including AJK, FATA and Gilgit-Baltistan.

3. Mission Statement:
The Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network aims to build upon the shared intellectual, social, cultural and democratic values of the people of Pakistan and United States to promote trust and understanding; and contribute towards peace and prosperity of the two countries through exchanges.

4. Aims and Objects:
The objectives of the network in furtherance of the main aim and purpose in article 2 hereof shall among others include but not be restricted to:-

i. To focus upon the strengths of the diverse cultures and communities that exists in the two countries; and creates linkages by acting as a bridge to enhance synergies on issues of common interest.

ii. To facilitate individuals and institutions in both countries to enhance recognition and understanding by fostering dialogue, sharing of knowledge and best practices; and mobilizing support for collaboration on initiatives of mutual benefit.

iii. To contribute towards improved quality of life of the people, by drawing upon the skills and insights of its members, gained from their interaction with the people of the United States through participation in exchange programs.

iv. To examine social, cultural and intellectual needs of the people and provide platforms of meaningful interaction to promote shared learning and to provide a forum for internal and external networking among all exchange alumni and contributing exchange program experiences.

v. To serve as a repository of institutional knowledge and advice for future beneficiaries of the people-to people contact initiatives.

vi. To find ways and means to broaden its impact and ensure sustainability by expanding its scope of activities, membership and resources.

5. Chief Patron:
The Ambassador of the USA to Pakistan shall be the Chief Patron of the Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network and twelve local chapters Representatives (President of each alumni chapter) from Lahore, Bahawalpur, Multan, Quetta, Gawadar, Khyber Pakhtunawa (KP-FATA), Karachi, Sukkar, Jamshoro, Islamabad, AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan will also be part of network as this would be a joint ownership through cooperative agreement.

 6. Eligibility Criteria and Membership:
i. All Pakistanis who are “Current and past participants of qualifying U.S. government-sponsored people-to-people exchanges are eligible to join the International Exchange Alumni on-line community if (1) the program is funded by the U.S. government or (2) the program is sponsored by the U.S. government and features on-going engagement.”

ii. Alumni of the English Access Microscholarship Program are fully eligible for membership once they successfully graduate from a two-year program in the country. The English Access alumni are permitted to vote in PUAN elections and contest for leadership if they meet the eligibility criteria in the PUAN Constitution.

iii. Each local chapter is independent to devise strategies and plans to increase the membership base in their respective localities. If any chapter is interested to charge fee then it should elaborate mechanism and justification to utilize the collected amount from alumni and also to inform the National Executive Committee. The membership fee is each local chapter’s matter.

7. Local Alumni Chapters:
i. The Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network shall consist of twelve local alumni chapters include Lahore, Bahawalpur, Multan, Quetta, Gawadar), Khyber Pakhtunawa (KP-FATA), Karachi, Sukkar, Jamshoro, Islamabad, AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan. Each local chapter shall lead by President, General Secretary, Finance Secretary and, Youth Group Director Team of two members with 20 alumni Executive Board members and 15 members (minimum).

ii. Each chapter shall develop an independent action plan, strategies, programs and thinking process to meet vision and objectives of Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network.

8. Chapter Executive Board:
i. The Executive Board shall be composed of 15 (minimum) to 20 members (maximum) of a local alumni chapter under Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network. The elected leadership of each chapter including President, General Secretary, Finance Secretary and, Youth Group Director Team shall be part of the Executive Board.

ii. The members of Executive Board other than elected leadership shall be selected through nomination process covering alumni-dense districts in each chapter in close coordination and consultations with the U.S. Mission in Pakistan. The Executive Board shall approve the bi-annual report and audited accounts of their local chapter.

9. Rules and Procedures of the Executive Board:
i. The Chapters’ Presidents of the Network shall preside over the meetings of the Executive Board in twelve chapters respectively.

ii. The place, date and time for holding ordinary or extraordinary meeting for special purposes, shall be determined by the Chapter President in coordination with the core members including General Secretary, Finance Secretary and Youth Group Directors Team. Such meeting of the Executive Board can be summoned by the Chapters’ Presidents by giving 15 days’ notice.

iii. One-third of the total number of the network shall form the quorum of the Executive Board meeting.

iv. The intimation of the meeting shall be accompanied by the agenda.

v. In the absence of the quorum, the meeting shall be adjourned by the Chapters’ Presidents, who will announce the place, date and time of the next meeting. If again there is no quorum the Chapter President will once more adjourn the meeting and announce the place, date and time of the next meeting for which there shall be no limitation of the quorum.

10. Composition of the National Executive Committee:
A. The management of the Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network shall rest with the National Executive Committee.

B. There shall be two five members each from twelve chapters i.e. Quetta, Gawadar), Khyber Pakhtunawa (KP-FATA), Lahore, Multan, Bahawalpur, Karachi, Sukkar, Jamshoro, AJK, Gilgit-Baltistan and Islamabad. The US Embassy’s Public Affairs Section shall be the officiating member of the National Executive Committee while USA Ambassador to Pakistan shall be the Chief Patron of the Network with joint ownership of twelve local Alumni Chapters.

C. The selection of Country President of Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network shall be decided by a majority of the National Executive Committee through a secret ballot. The elected Country President shall serve for a two-year term.

11. Powers and Duties of the National Executive Committee:
i. The tenure of the office bearers and members of the Executive Committee shall be two years and shall be eligible for re-election provided that any office bearer shall hold office for a maximum three terms in any designated leadership position in the chapter either as President/General Secretary/Finance Secretary/Youth Group Director.

ii. The National Executive Committee shall be competent to appoint thematic alumni focus groups for the achievement of the aims and objects of the Network.

iii. The National Executive Committee shall be competent to approve all types of expenditure.

iv. The Members in consultation with the National Executive Committee shall be competent to fill vacancies.

v. The National Executive Committee shall:

  1. Look after the affairs of the Pakistan U.S. Alumni Network.
  2. Adopt ways and means for improving the self-generating resources of the Network.
  3. Adopt strategies for an external funds mobilization and adopt strategies to mobilize external funds.
  4. Prepare the agenda and an annual progress report of the network and to present the same before the National Executive Committee in its annual meeting; and,
  5. Prepare and formulate programs for the promotion of the aims and objects of the Network.

vi. The National Executive Committee shall have the power to ratify the suspension or termination for failure to comply with the requirements of this constitution, misconduct that negatively impacts the interests of the Network, failure to comply with financial reporting requirements by PUAN Office bearers for funds from the Pakistan U.S. Alumni network, after providing reasonable opportunity for a hearing.

vii. Any member, not attending two consecutive meetings without any intimation/lawful justification shall automatically lose the membership.

viii. Membership shall be revived only upon written request to the NEC. A simple majority of the National Executive Committee may agree to reinstatement.

ix. The National Executive Committee may appoint employed officers at a salary or fee for the effective running of the Association so as to meet its objectives.

x. The decisions of the National Executive Committee shall be taken by majority.

12. Powers and Duties of Office Bearers:

(a) Country President:

  1. The Country President shall be the constitutional head of the Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network.
  2. The Country President shall devise the national level plans and actions with close collaboration and with an approval and confidence of the National Executive Committee.
  3. The Country President shall preside over the meetings of the National Executive Committee.
  4. The Country President shall coordinate among the twelve chapter Presidents for convening the meetings of National Executive Committee.
  5. The Country President shall coordinate in close collaboration with the U.S. Embassy in organizing and devising national level policies and programs including national alumni reunions, outreach programs and activities likewise workshops, seminars, conferences, etc. having national impact.
  6. The election of Country President of Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network shall be decided through secret voting by the members of National Executive Committee. The elected Country President shall serve for a two-year term.

(b) Chapter President:

  1. The Chapter President shall be the constitutional head of the Chapter and shall have the right to administer the activities of the organization with the approval of the National Executive Committee.
  2. The Chapter President shall preside over the meetings of the National Executive Committee and of the Executive Board in its geographical location.
  3. The President shall ascertain the requirements of the quorum for all meetings.
  4. The President shall envisage the Mission Statement and Objectives of the Constitution of the Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network.
  5. The President shall ascertain the requirements of the quorum for all meetings.
  6. The President shall ensure the regular occurrences of monthly meetings of the chapter.
  7. The President shall advise on bi-annual plans and small grants of the chapter for funding.
  8. The President shall lead in organizing the chapter’s annual reunions.
  9. The President shall lead in making thematic groups of like-minded alumni to enable them to work on their interest areas.
  10. The President shall find ways and means to broaden the network’s impact and ensure sustainability by expanding its scope of activities, membership, and resources.
  11. The President shall work in close collaboration with U.S. Mission in Pakistan on various programs, projects, and ideas to strengthening alumni network.

 

(c) General Secretary:

  1. In absence of President, the General Secretary shall preside over the meetings and shall perform all the functions as president.
  2. The General Secretary will be competent to exercise powers which are conferred upon him by the Chapter President.
  3. In case of removal or death of the President, the General Secretary shall take over as President and will continue for the remaining period till elections.
  4. The General Secretary shall be responsible for dealing with all administrative affairs of the local Alumni Chapter.
  5. He/she shall adopt measures for the implementation of the orders and decisions of the Executive Board and of the National Executive Committee.
  6. In accordance with the instructions from the Chapter President, the General Secretary shall summon meetings of the Executive Board and shall issue such communications which he/she considers necessary.
  7. The General Secretary shall be responsible for the safety of all records of the National Executive Committee and the Executive Board shall be the custodian of all records and properties of the Network which are given to him/her in trust.
  8. The General Secretary shall record the minutes of the meeting of the National Executive Committee and of the Executive Board.
  9. The General Secretary shall be responsible for carrying out correspondence for and on behalf of the Network with the common seal of the Association.
  10. The General Secretary shall seek advice and guidance from the local President of his/her Chapter in policy matters while administering the activities of the Network.
  11. The General Secretary shall prepare annual progress report for presentation before the National Executive Committee and the Executive Board. In this regard the General Secretary maybe assisted by any member of the Network.
  12. The General Secretary shall envisage the Mission Statement and Objectives of the Constitution of the Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network.
  13. The General Secretary shall work on bi-annual plans and small grants of chapter reunion for funding.

(d) Finance Secretary:

  1. The Finance Secretary shall envisage the Mission Statement and Objectives of the Constitution of the Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network.
  2. In absence of the General Secretary shall preside over the meetings and shall perform all the functions as General Secretary.
  3. The Finance Secretary will be competent to exercise powers which are conferred upon him by the President and General Secretary.
  4. The Finance Secretary shall be responsible for dealing with all financial affairs of the Alumni Chapter.
  5. The Finance Secretary shall be responsible for carrying out financial correspondence for and on behalf of the Network with the common seal of the Network.
  6. The Finance Secretary shall seek the advise and guidance of the President and General Secretary of the Chapter in policy matters while administering the financial activities of the Network.
  7. The Finance Secretary shall work on reunion proposals, bi-annual plans and small grants for chapter in close coordination with the President, General Secretary, Executive Board, Youth Group Leaders Team and representatives of U.S. Mission in Pakistan.

(e) Youth Group Directors:

  1. The Youth Group Directors Team (two elected alumni) shall envisage the Mission Statement and Objectives of the Constitution of the Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network.
  2. The Youth Group Director will be competent to exercise powers which are conferred upon him by the President and General Secretary.
  3. The Youth Group Directors Team shall be responsible for dealing with all youth affairs of the Alumni Chapter.
  4. He/she shall adopt measures for the implementation of the orders and decisions of the Executive Board and of the National Executive Committee.
  5. The Youth Group Directors shall give his/her input in developing Chapter’s bi-annual plans and national plans that shall include community service projects, social events and alumni engagements programs.
  6. In accordance with the instructions from the President and the General Secretary, he/she shall summon meetings of the Youth Group and shall issue such communications which he/she considers necessary.
  7. The Youth Group Directors shall form thematic groups and help young alumni to come up with innovative ideas and projects to engage youth and community at large.
  8. The Youth Group Directors shall lead alumni in Chapter’s thematic activities and also national reunions and conferences.
  9. The Youth Group Director shall have age between 18 to 29 years.

13. Finances:

i. All funds of the Network shall be deposited in scheduled bank approved by the National Executive Committee and the bank accounts shall be operated jointly by the Country President and one additional member nominated by the National Executive Committee.

ii. The General Secretary may keep a sum of Rs.10, 000/- in cash with him/her for meeting contingent expenses relating to the projects of the Network.

iii. No money or benefit should directly or indirectly be passed on by way of dividends, bonus etc. to any office bearer or related members.

iv. An annual audit of accounts of the Network shall be carried out by a chartered Accountant.

v. The financial year of the Network shall henceforth be from October 1st to September 30th.

 

14. Meetings:

i. The Executive Board shall meet on regular basis in their respective local alumni chapters’ across the Pakistan.

ii. The biennial meeting of the National Executive Committee shall be held in the month of January or on any other date if the National Executive Committee so decides. The place date and time of the meeting shall be fixed by the Country President and the quorum shall be the full number of members of the National Executive Committee.

iii. At-least 15 days’ notice shall be given for the ordinary meeting of the core group Executive Board and 7 days’ notice for the extraordinary or emergent meeting of the Executive Board. The Chapter leadership can decide best in lieu of prevailing situation.

iv. At least 10 days’ notice shall be given for the meeting of the National Executive Committee and 3 days’ notice for extraordinary or emergent meeting of the National Executive Committee. The quorum of all such meetings shall be one-third of the members of the National Executive Committee.

 

15. Elections:

i. The elections of the Office Bearers and other Members of the local alumni chapters of the Network shall be held on the expiry of the term, during the first fortnight of October (on biennial basis).

ii. All the elections shall be carried out under the supervision of an Election Committee consisting of at least three alumni members inclusive of its Chairman and representatives from U.S. Mission in Pakistan. The members and the Chairman of the Election Committee shall not be entitled to contest for any office of the Network or the membership of its National Executive Committee.

iii. The Election Committee shall not have voting rights. In case of tie during the voting against any contested position, the Chairperson of Election Committee can cast his/her vote.

iv. The election Committee will announce the election program at least 15 days before the date of election fixed by the National Executive Committee and U.S. Mission in Pakistan and will call for nomination papers of the candidates duly proposed at least 10 days before the election starts. The Election Committee shall have the powers to reject the papers of any candidate if these are not found to be correct and properly proposed.

v. All the Elections shall be carried out by means of secret (electronic through e-mail) ballot. Postal ballot may also be allowed in the discretion of the election committee on the request of any member.

vi. The term of office of the office bearers of the Executive Board and Executive Committee shall be 2 years.

vii. The National Executive Committee shall have the powers to make the election rules in line with this constitution.

viii. The National Election Committee shall be responsible for supervising the handing over of the charge to the newly elected office bearers of the Network within 15 days after the election.

ix. The President should be an active member of PUAN for at least 2 years or above before contesting/joining the subject position in the chapter and be at least at 25 years (minimum).

x. The General Secretary should be an active member of PUAN for at least one year before contesting/joining the subject position in the chapter and be at least 18 years (minimum).

xi. The Finance Secretary should be an active member of PUAN for at least one year before contesting/joining the subject position in the chapter and be at least 18 years (minimum).

xii. The Youth Group Director should have conducted youth related activities before contesting/joining the subject position in the chapter.

xiii. All voting will be done via e-mail and also through postal ballots as per chapter’s exclusive needs.

xiv. Election Committee members will verify email addresses in a database of PUAN alumni to ensure only registered PUAN members cast ballots.

xv. Email addresses not included in the database will be double-checked to verify membership in PUAN. The PUAN-election Committee’s decision regarding this will be final.

xvi. All voting records will remain confidential and a voter’s identity will not be disclosed to anyone outside of the Election Committee.

xvii. Candidates will be announced by the Election Committee, and alumni will be duly informed of any changes to the list of candidates.

xviii. Voters’ email and telephone numbers will not be made available to the candidates. The Election Committee has the authority to decide whether candidates should not engage in unsolicited emailing/calling of voters.

xix. Candidates may use social media for campaigning.

xx. Negative ads or any other sort of campaigning aimed at defaming a candidate or other person is strictly prohibited. In case of such negative campaigning, PUAN’s election committee reserves the right to disqualify the candidate and remove the statement from its social media.

xxi. Any decision which the Election Committee deems necessary for the smooth process of elections will be considered final.

 

16. By-elections:

i. If an elected member of a chapter resigns or is removed under Constitutional provisions, then the remaining elected leadership of the respective chapter shall gather nominations from their entire local chapter against the vacant position within one month after confirmation of the resignation or removal. The remaining elected leadership, and all available Executive Board members, shall review all nominations as per eligibility criteria given in the PUAN Constitution and carry out a secret ballot to elect a new person against the vacant position in the chapter.  If the elected member resigns or is removed within the final six-months of his/her term then the elected leadership will share the tasks and portfolios of his/her work accordingly and a by-election will not be required.

ii. The respective chapter shall constitute a three to five member by-election committee consisting of members of elected leadership and the Executive Board to review the nominations and to conduct the operations of the by-election process.  Only the chapter leadership and Executive Board members are eligible to vote during the secret ballot of the by-election process.  No serving elected leader, nor any Executive Board member serving on the by-election committee, shall be eligible to contest in a by-election against any vacant position in any chapter.  Executive Board members who are not participating on the by-election committee are eligible to contest for the vacancy.

 

 17. Social Media:

i. Each PUAN Chapters shall make a closed Facebook page to engage and increase the membership in the chapter. Each chapter’s group page will be administrated through the U.S. Mission in Pakistan and chapter’s leadership (only General Secretary shall get admin rights through a written agreement).

ii. The success stories, alumni outreach programs, and activities of all twelve chapters of PUAN shall be posted and made visible on network’s national social pages and sites (Facebook, Blog, Twitter etc.) only through direct administration of U.S. Mission in Pakistan.

 

18. Code of Conduct Policy:

i. Failure to comply with the requirements of this constitution, misconduct that negatively impacts the interests of the U.S. Mission and Network, failure to comply with financial reporting requirements for funds from the Pakistan U.S. Alumni network, using PUAN position for personal gains or financial advancements, or verbal abuse or disparagement of other members of the network shall not be accepted within the alumni community chapters or National Executive Committee.

ii. The membership of PUAN Chapter leadership shall be revived only upon written request to the NEC. A simple majority of the National Executive Committee may agree to reinstatement.

iii. Alleged violations of the above-mentioned conduct violations by chapter members will be reviewed by representatives of the U.S. Mission in coordination with the executive board.  The Chapter Executive Board shall make a recommendation for the U.S. Mission regarding any punishment for violations, including warnings, suspension from for a period not to exceed 6 months, to revocation of membership in the Network. The U.S. Mission shall be responsible for the final decision regarding punishments for the above-mentioned violations. Failure to comply with financial reporting requirements for chapter activities and small grants shall automatically bar the member from applying for additional Network funding and upcoming elections. The U.S. Mission will notify the NEC of any conduct decisions regarding executive board members.